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Meaning of grande dame

grande dame

Pronunciation: (gran' dam', dām' Fr. gränd dam'), [key]
— pl. grandes dames
  1. a usually elderly woman of dignified or aristocratic bearing.
  2. a woman who is the doyenne of a specific field: a grande dame of the American theater.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.